I feel very lucky to speak three languages. I didn’t choose any of them. I grew up speaking both Korean and English. I learned French because of my uncle; and I ended up majoring in French due to a series of unfortunate events. However, thanks to these involuntary choices I can now listen to the music of Serge Gainsbourg and savor his wordplay. I can relish the dry wit of Jang Ki Ha, the sensuous poetry of Baudelaire, and the violent sonnet of Yeats. 

Not only do I appreciate such disparate works of art, but I also consume all kinds of food, media, and culture. Language is a meme that is unique. It exposes one to cultures and ideas in ways that are unimaginable for other memes. For instance, I am treated as an insider by Koreans because I can speak Korean; I can speak to artists on the Pontes des artes, basking in the Sein’s reflection of the Sun; and my English prevents me from being treated as a hopeless foreigner which entails certain advantages in the United States. 

Bilingualism seemingly makes one brighter. It certainly is the case that it provides me a colorful palette of words and phrases. I would not be surprised if such colors make my mind sharp and bright. The world I see is not of iron and grey, blunt and dull. My world is comprised of manifold hues, flavors, and textures. Language enriches my life. 


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